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7.180 - Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate.  Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors is an important District goal. 

Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:

 

  1. During any school sponsored education program or activity;

 

  1. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school sponsored or school sanctioned events or activities.

 

  1. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.

 

For purposes of this policy, the term bullying means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

 

1.    Placing the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.

 

2.    Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.

 

3.    Substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance.

 

4.    Substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

 

Bullying, intimidation, and/or harassment may take various forms, including without limitation:

threats, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying.

 

For purposes of this policy, the term bullying includes harassment, intimidation, retaliation, and school violence.  A student who is being bullied is encouraged to immediately report it orally or in writing to the District Complaint Manager or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the District Complaint Manager or any staff member. The District will not punish anyone because he or she made a complaint or report, supplied information, or otherwise participated in an investigation or proceeding, provided the individual did not make a knowingly false accusation or provide knowingly false information.

 

The Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain a program that:

 

1.    Fully implements and enforces each of the following Board policies:

 

a.    2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure. This policy contains the process for an individual to seek resolution of a complaint. A student may use this policy to complain about bullying. The District Complaint Manager shall address the complaint promptly and equitably. After an investigation, the Complaint Manager shall file a written report of his or her findings with the Superintendent for his or her action. The student may appeal any decision to the Board.

 

b.    6:235, Access to Electronic Networks. This policy states that the use of the District’s electronic networks is limited to: (1) support of education and/or research, or (2) a legitimate business use. It subjects any individual to the loss of privileges, disciplinary action, and/or appropriate legal actions for violating the District’s Authorization of Electronic Network Access.

 

c.     7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited. This policy prohibits any person from harassing, intimidating, or bullying a student based on an actual or perceived characteristic that is identified in the policy. Each of those characteristics is also identified in this policy’s second paragraph.

 

d.    7:185, Teen Dating Violence Prohibited. This policy prohibits teen dating violence on school property, at school sponsored activities, and in vehicles used for school-provided transportation. It encourages anyone with information about an incident of teen dating violence to report it to any school staff member.

e.    7:190, Student Discipline. This policy prohibits students from engaging in            hazing, bullying, or any kind of aggressive behavior that does physical or psychological harm to another or any urging of other students to engage in such conduct; prohibited conduct includes any use of violence, force, noise, coercion, threats, intimidation, fear, harassment, or other comparable conduct.

 

f.      7:310, Restrictions on Publications and Written or Electronic Material.  This policy prohibits students from: (a) accessing and/or distributing at school any written, printed, or electronic material, including material from the Internet, that will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, and (b) creating and/or distributing written, printed, or electronic material, including photographs and Internet material and blogs, that causes substantial disruption to school operations or interferes with the rights of other students or staff members.

 

Full implementation of the above policies includes: (1) conducting a prompt and thorough investigation of alleged incidents of bullying, (2) providing each student who violates one or more of these policies with appropriate consequences and remedial action, and (3) protecting students against retaliation for reporting bullying.

 

2.    Examines the appropriate steps to understand and rectify conditions that foster bullying, intimidation, and harassment; this contemplates taking action to eliminate or prevent these disruptive behaviors beyond traditional punitive disciplinary actions.

 

3.    Includes bullying prevention and character instruction in all grades in accordance with State law and Board policy 6:60, Curriculum Content.  This includes incorporating student social and emotional development into the District’s educational program as required by State law and in alignment with Board policy 6:65, Student Social and Emotional Development.

 

4.    Fully informs staff members of the District’s goal to prevent students from engaging in bullying and the measures being used to accomplish it. This includes each of the following:

 

a.    Communicating the District’s expectation and State law requirement that teachers and other certificated or licensed employees maintain discipline. 

b.    Establishing the expectation that staff members: (1) intervene immediately to stop a bullying incident that they witness or immediately contact building security and/or law enforcement if the incident involves a weapon or other illegal activity, (2) report bullying, whether they witness it or not, to an administrator, and (3) inform the administration of locations on school grounds where additional supervision or monitoring may be needed to prevent bullying.

c.     Where appropriate in the staff development program, providing strategies to staff members to effectively prevent bullying and intervene when it occurs.

d.    Establishing a process for staff members to fulfill their obligation to report alleged acts of bullying.

 

 

5.  Encourages all members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, to report: (a) alleged acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of actual or threatened violence, and (b) locations on school grounds where additional supervision or monitoring may be needed to prevent bullying.

 

6. Actively involves students’ parents/guardians in the remediation of the behavior(s) of concern.  This includes ensuring that all parents/guardians are notified, as required by State law, whenever their child engages in aggressive behavior.

 

7. Communicates the District’s expectation that all students conduct themselves with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students.  This includes a process for commending or acknowledging students for demonstrating appropriate behavior.

 

8. Annually communicates this policy to students and their parents/guardians.  This includes annually disseminating information to all students and parents/guardians explaining the serious disruption caused by bullying, intimidation, or harassment and that these behaviors will be taken seriously and are not acceptable in any form.

 

9. Engages in ongoing monitoring that includes collecting and analyzing appropriate data on the nature and extent of bullying in the District’s schools and, after identifying appropriate indicators, assesses the effectiveness of the various strategies, programs, and procedures and reports the results of this assessment to the Board along with recommendations to enhance effectiveness.

 

10. Complies with State and federal law and is in alignment with Board policies.  This includes prompting the Board to update the policy beginning every 2 years after its initial adoption and filing this policy with the Illinois State Board of Education after the Board adopts or updates it.

 

This policy is not intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 or 4 of Article 1 of the Ill. Constitution.

 

LEGAL REF.:  405 ILCS 49/1, Children’s Mental Health Act.

                        105 ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/24-24, and 5/27-23.7.

                        23 Ill.Admin.Code §1.240 and §1.280

 

CROSS REF.: 2:240, 2:260, 4:170, 5:230, 6:60, 6:65, 6:235, 7:20, 7:185, 7:190, 7:220, 7:230, 7:240, 7:285, 7:310

 

ADOPTED:     January 31, 2008; June 24, 2010; November 18, 2010; June 26, 2014

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